©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Next Level

I read Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and A Day with a Perfect Stranger and I was fascinated by the allegorical message. I have recommended them to friends and have had various members of my family read them. Last night, I finished The Next Level, which really made me think about how I live my life and what my purpose is. David Gregory's way with words and his writing style make a person think.

Logan is a college graduate without a job. His father encourages him to find a job, any job, just so he gets out and works. Logan applies for a job with Univeral Systems, gets in to see the Director immediately, and is given his dream job--an Organizational Analyst. He is assigned to diagnose the problems within the organization, level by level. He takes on his job with fervor and zeal, but with increasing frustration as each level seems better than the previous one until further investigation reveals no difference in problems, just differences in how they appear.

Like I said, this book causes the reader to think, to examine, to discover one's self in the process. Sit down with it, read it, take it to heart. It's well worth your time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Shape Is Mercy?

I have read a few of Susan Meissner's books and have found all of them compelling, and with each one, I've learned something that has deepened my spiritual life. A better recommendation I cannot give. The Shape of Mercy is just that kind of book, compelling, teaching, and commendable.

The Shape of Mercy's cast includes Lauren, Abigail, and Mercy, chiefly. These three are the most important to the story. Lesser characters are Cole, Raul, Clarissa, and Lauren's parents. Lauren is a college student hired by Abigail to transcribe Mercy's diary. Mercy lives near Salem in 1692 and writes of the horrors of the witch trials, especially from the perspective of knowing that many of the accused are innocent. Ultimately Mercy is also accused, convicted, and sentenced to hang. Mercy is in love with John Peter, the son of a neighbor, and cannot stand for him to watch her be hanged.

This is the story in a very small nutshell with many of the plot lines omitted. There is much to be learned from this book--about judging people from appearances, about false accusations and the depth of the hurt they can cause, about judging yourself rightly. Susan writes well-researched, deeply moving books and I recommend this one highly.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Kettle's On!

Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson teamed up together to make a wonderfully tasty delight in their book, The Potluck Club. I had some time between appointments the other day and since my appointments were "out of town," I took the time to visit the local Hastings book store. The Potluck Club caught my eye and jumped into my arms as one of the purchases of the day. I had to finish the book I was reading before I could get into this one, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

There are six friends who meet once a month to pray about needs in their church and in their world. Evie is a middle-aged, single woman whose very pregnant niece shows up on her doorstep needing some heart-healing love from her aunt.

Goldie is about at the end of her rope with her philandering husband. His peccadilloes have mostly been out of town and not so much in her face, but he moved them home to have an affair with a coworker.

Donna is the daughter of the sheriff and one of his deputies. She still hurts from her mother's desertion of both her and her father and doesn't really believe God hears her or cares about her.

Lizzie is the local librarian and everyone's friend. When the pastor's wife, Jan, is diagnosed with cancer, Lizzie puts all of her research skills to work to see if she can find any help for Jan.

Vonnie is a woman with secrets that she doesn't even know she holds. Once she finds out about it, it will change her life forever.

Lisa Leann is the last member of this group who has wormed her way in without invitation and thinks she's going to take over its leadership.

Each woman brings something needful to the group, and each woman needs the group for her own reasons.

I loved the book and each chapter is headed with a tasty recipe that may find itself into my repertoire. This book is well worth your time to read, especially because these ladies will remind you of very close friends.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Read to Me

I haven't done many reviews lately because I've been reading "fluff." While there is nothing wrong with fluff, it's just been mindless entertainment. I'll be back to my regular reviews soon.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Bride Wore.....

I have a facebook page and one of my likes is the Goodwill Librarian, who daily posts pictures concerned with books and reading. Today's picture fits the book I am reviewing today that I have to post it:

The Bride Wore Blue by Mona Hodgson is a book of grace in its purest form. Vivian is the youngest Sinclair sister and she's the sister with a "past." Like so many of us, she cannot let go of her past to see her future. She comes to Cripple Creek, Colorado, to join her sisters as her father wished for her. She meets Carter Alwyn because she encountered some bandits on the train ride to Cripple Creek and she needed to describe them for the authorities.

The theme throughout the book is Vivian's feelings of unworthiness to have the lives her sisters have. Mona's handling of Vivian's feelings teaches us to lean on the facts of God's love as explained through scripture instead of our feelings.

I adore when an author can teach a spiritual truth while being entertaining, and Mona does this very well. The Bride Wore Blue is not only a fun read, it's engaging and instructive. Well done, Mona.

Monday, July 2, 2012